Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has described Jurgen Klopp as a ‘hypocrite’ for suggesting that Manchester United have been enjoying favourable penalty decisions this campaign.
After Liverpool’s defeat to Southampton, Klopp was frustrated at two penalty calls that did not go his side’s way.
‘I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half-years,’ said the Liverpool manager.
But Clattenburg, who took charge of 292 Premier League matches during his career as a referee, is adamant that officials do not favour the Red devils and has accused Klopp of playing ‘mind games’ ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with United at Anfield this Sunday.
Clattenburg also claimed that United did receive favourable decisions during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time but that has ‘eased massively’ since he retired in 2013.
‘Let’s be clear: there is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials,’ Clattenburg wrote in his column for MailOnline.
‘Was Klopp insinuating there is? Or was he suggesting United have players who are encouraged to dive? If his intention was the former, then I’ve got no time for that. It simply is not true.
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‘But if he was highlighting the ease with which some United players go down in the penalty area then, yes, I believe he was making a valid point. Even if it does ignore similar suspicions about some of his stars.
‘He sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics.
‘He is clearly getting edgy, though, because not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game. Klopp wasn’t doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week.
‘He does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions.
‘There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.’